'90s style can be divided into two very distinct aesthetics. The first centres around butterfly clips, tie-dye T-shirts and bedazzled denim while the other is more minimalistic—the sort championed by Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and Jennifer Aniston, which focused on cleaner lines, sleeker silhouettes, and a generally muted colour palette. As we go forward, this is the '90s mood I'd like to present to you by way of some modern-day summertime outfits. Right now, the style set is incorporating this specific iteration of '90s fashion back into their wardrobes and, unlike the often polarising Y2K trends that keep cropping up, this is a style throwback I'm very much here for.
This summer, influencers have been showcasing a slew of minimalistic '90s-inspired summer outfits on their feeds, with everything from cycling shorts to cargo trousers being given a very polished spin. If you're keen to give your wardrobe a '90s injection but don't want to look like an extra from Clarissa Explains It All (no shade), consider the below your guide. I give you eight '90s-inspired summer outfits to try that don't look passé for 2022.
1. Oversize Shirt + Vest Top + Cycling Shorts + Running Shoes
Style Notes: Cycling shorts are a '90s trend that can often feel difficult to style but, as Tamara proves, it's nothing an oversize shirt and vest top can't sort. Add running shoes for even more throwback appeal.
Style Notes: If there's one hair accessory that feels intrinsically '90s, perhaps even more so than the scrunchie, it's the hair scarf. Here, Sylvie shows just how cool one can look when worn with the right attire—in this case, a white vest top, bootcut jeans, and mules.
3. Aviators + Tube Dress + Gladiator Sandals
Style Notes: Tube dresses were all the rage in the '90s, and now they're back in a big way for 2022. For a sleek spin, opt for a classic black colourway and pair with minimal accessories—a basket bag and wrap-around gladiator sandals will do the trick.
4. Cargo Trousers + Crop Top + Shrug + Shoulder Bag
Style Notes: Cargo trousers have had a major gloss-over this year—they even appeared on the Celine runway. I'll be copying and pasting Bella's look with a crop top, shrug, and shoulder bag for the full '90s experience.
5. Crochet Skirt + Scarf Top + Chain Belt
Style Notes: Crochet was one of the defining textures of the '90s, so imagine my delight when it made a classy comeback in 2022 in black and white. For '90s flair, try pairing a crochet skirt or top with a scarf top and adding a chain belt for detail.
6. Baggy Jeans + Bra Top + Short-Sleeve Shirt
Style Notes: Sure, bootcut jeans were big in the '90s (see above), but baggy jeans were just as prevalent during that decade. Now, influencers are wearing theirs with bra tops and undone shirting. You might want to look into that further.
7. Printed Tee + Maxi Skirt + Rectangle Sunglasses
Style Notes: In the '90s, skirts were either micro, mini or floor-grazing maxi. Here, Allison makes a case for the maxi, which she's paired with a printed tee and rectangular sunnies. For some reason, this look also makes me think of Rachel Green, which is, of course, a good thing.
8. Shirt + Jersey Shorts + Loafers + White Socks + Scrunchie
Style Notes: The top of Imani's outfit it mightn’t scream '90s, but her loafer-and-sock combination? It couldn’t be more of the decade if it tried. Throw in her marl sweatshorts and a perfectly positioned scrunchie on her wrist, and this is a '90s-inspired summer outfit—make no mistake.